Is Harriet Tubman really throwing the Wakanda Forever salute on OneUnited Bank's new debit card? It sure looks that way and people are not very happy about it. A lot of people are probably okay with the fact that Tubman's face is printed on the debit card in honor of Black History Month, even though she fought against racism and the capitalistic practice of buying and selling human beings. Whatever the case may be, more people seem to be fired up over the fact that she's using a symbol from Marvel's Black Panther.
When looking at the OneUnited debit card, it certainly looks like Harriet Tubman is doing the Wakanda Forever pose from Black Panther. Her arms are in a cross and she's looking right at us from the debit card. An advertisement for the card reads, "Our limited-edition Harriet Tubman Visa Debit Card is a symbol of Black empowerment. Don't miss out! Get The Card today!" One person on social media responded by stating, "This is so disrespectful..... Harriet Tubman throwing up the Wakanda sign. This is NOT For The Culture."
The Black Panther gesture promotes solidarity for all citizens of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. OneUnited's COO Teri Williams recently commented on the matter, noting that the card has been in the works since 2016 while declaring that the bank is "unapologetically black- owned." Williams went on to state that the hand gesture that Harriet Tubman is representing on the debit card is not from Black Panther. She had this to say.
"The gesture, the hand gesture that people are commenting about is the sign language gesture for love. It is to represent not only love for yourself, but love of our community."
The image of Harriet Tubman on the card is based on a painting by Adonis Parker called The Conqueror. However, this has not stopped people from freaking out about the Wakandan nation aspect, or the idea of having the historical icon's face on a Visa debit card. "Harriet Tubman sacrificed her life for the love of others. Black love is an important message, especially right now," says Teri Williams. The bank also released a statement on social media, which reads, "Harriet Tubman is the ultimate symbol of love-love that causes you to sacrifice everything, including your own life."
While OneUnited seems to have made the Harriet Tubman debit card with the right intensions, people are still pretty angry about it. For most, the card comes off as tone-deaf, even though it was released by a black-owned bank. Plus, one wouldn't really think of a bank caring about the anti-capitalist nature of Tubman's sacrifice. Whatever the case may be, it supposedly doesn't have anything to do with T'Challa and Marvel's Black Panther. You can check out the Harriet Tubman debit card below, thanks to the OneUnited Twitter account.